European Project Office

English translation: either, but slight preference for plural

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:European Project Office
English translation:either, but slight preference for plural
Entered by: Charles Davis
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15:21 Jun 14, 2018
English to English translations [PRO]
Business/Commerce (general)
English term or phrase: European Project Office
Dear colleagues,

What would you say is correct, to say: European Projects Office or European Project Office.

I normally use the first option, but I not sure about it.

Thank you very much for your help.

Best,

Covadonga
Covadonga RB
Spain
Local time: 09:55
either, but slight preference for plural
Explanation:
Most online instances of "European Projects Office", or at least a large proportion of them, seem to refer to Spain, raising the obvious suspicions that they have been translated from "Oficina de Proyectos Europeos". That doesn't mean that the expression is wrong, but it does mean that these instances can't be taken as evidence that it is idiomatic in English. It may well have been translated by someone who is not a native speaker of English, and even if the translator was a native speaker of English, many translators lack the ability to detach themselves from the source term and judge what would really be said in English.

As a general principle, nouns used adjectivally in English are normally put in the singular even if their sense is plural and they would be plural in the equivalent Spanish expression. An estación de autobuses is a bus station, not a buses station. When I revise texts in English written by Spanish speakers with a good command of English, I often find that they have pluralised preposed adjectival nouns that should naturally be singular.

And yet there are many exceptions: many cases in which the preposed adjectival noun is naturally plural. Universities have Admissions Offices, not Admission Offices, for example. The reasons why the plural may be preferred are various and often subtle, and I won't attempt to account for them in general terms here, but there is no doubt that offices dealing with European projects can naturally be, and are, called European Projects Offices, though they can be, and are, also called European Project Offices.

Here are a couple of undoubtedly native English examples in which there has clearly been no interference from Spanish or any other foreign language:

"Europe Services PMO Lead at NCR Corporation
London, Greater London, United Kingdom
[...]
Leader of NCR's European Project Office. We deliver multinational technology projects and transitions for our customers"
https://uk.linkedin.com/in/christian-keyes-190a3454

"Hewlett-Packard Ltd,
European Projects Office,
Filton Road,
Stoke Gifford,
BRISTOL BS34 8QZ,
UK"
http://www0.cs.ucl.ac.uk/research/m3i/annex1.html

"The administrative arm of ESDN remains on the Manchester campus, but has relocated to the European Projects Office, housed within the purpose built North West Genetics Knowledge Park (Nowgen Centre)."
http://www.esdn.org/eug/digitalAssets/0/260_ESDNnewsletter7J...

Another instance of a European Project Office responsible for European Projects is Claire's first reference.

However, Claire's second reference illustrates the fact that the singular and plural forms can have different meanings. It refers to the "European Project Office" (and "North American Project Office") of a single project (the Baseline ALMA Bilateral Project).
http://jump2.nrao.edu/dbtw-wpd/textbase/Documents/brown-Trip...

And if we remove "European", a "project office" will generally be understood as an office dealing with a single project; an office dealing with projects in general will tend to be called a projects office.

That is why I say that in my view, although both are certainly correct, there is an argument for using the plural when it is an office dealing with projects rather than a project. There's certainly nothing wrong with the plural here. Personally I would stay with it.
Selected response from:

Charles Davis
Spain
Local time: 09:55
Grading comment
Thank you very much to all of you for answering!
Charles, I think you´re right when you say "that project office will generally be understood as an office dealing with a single project".Thanks very much for the clarification!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +4either, but slight preference for plural
Charles Davis
4European Project Office
Claire N.


Discussion entries: 2





  

Answers


4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
european project office
either, but slight preference for plural


Explanation:
Most online instances of "European Projects Office", or at least a large proportion of them, seem to refer to Spain, raising the obvious suspicions that they have been translated from "Oficina de Proyectos Europeos". That doesn't mean that the expression is wrong, but it does mean that these instances can't be taken as evidence that it is idiomatic in English. It may well have been translated by someone who is not a native speaker of English, and even if the translator was a native speaker of English, many translators lack the ability to detach themselves from the source term and judge what would really be said in English.

As a general principle, nouns used adjectivally in English are normally put in the singular even if their sense is plural and they would be plural in the equivalent Spanish expression. An estación de autobuses is a bus station, not a buses station. When I revise texts in English written by Spanish speakers with a good command of English, I often find that they have pluralised preposed adjectival nouns that should naturally be singular.

And yet there are many exceptions: many cases in which the preposed adjectival noun is naturally plural. Universities have Admissions Offices, not Admission Offices, for example. The reasons why the plural may be preferred are various and often subtle, and I won't attempt to account for them in general terms here, but there is no doubt that offices dealing with European projects can naturally be, and are, called European Projects Offices, though they can be, and are, also called European Project Offices.

Here are a couple of undoubtedly native English examples in which there has clearly been no interference from Spanish or any other foreign language:

"Europe Services PMO Lead at NCR Corporation
London, Greater London, United Kingdom
[...]
Leader of NCR's European Project Office. We deliver multinational technology projects and transitions for our customers"
https://uk.linkedin.com/in/christian-keyes-190a3454

"Hewlett-Packard Ltd,
European Projects Office,
Filton Road,
Stoke Gifford,
BRISTOL BS34 8QZ,
UK"
http://www0.cs.ucl.ac.uk/research/m3i/annex1.html

"The administrative arm of ESDN remains on the Manchester campus, but has relocated to the European Projects Office, housed within the purpose built North West Genetics Knowledge Park (Nowgen Centre)."
http://www.esdn.org/eug/digitalAssets/0/260_ESDNnewsletter7J...

Another instance of a European Project Office responsible for European Projects is Claire's first reference.

However, Claire's second reference illustrates the fact that the singular and plural forms can have different meanings. It refers to the "European Project Office" (and "North American Project Office") of a single project (the Baseline ALMA Bilateral Project).
http://jump2.nrao.edu/dbtw-wpd/textbase/Documents/brown-Trip...

And if we remove "European", a "project office" will generally be understood as an office dealing with a single project; an office dealing with projects in general will tend to be called a projects office.

That is why I say that in my view, although both are certainly correct, there is an argument for using the plural when it is an office dealing with projects rather than a project. There's certainly nothing wrong with the plural here. Personally I would stay with it.

Charles Davis
Spain
Local time: 09:55
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 84
Grading comment
Thank you very much to all of you for answering!
Charles, I think you´re right when you say "that project office will generally be understood as an office dealing with a single project".Thanks very much for the clarification!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Claire N.: Nice answer, Charles. Thanks for pointing out my error.
1 hr
  -> Thanks very much, Claire :-) Not an error, a useful illustration of the possible difference of meaning.

agree  B D Finch: Good explanation, but it would help to know something about the work of the office in question.
3 hrs
  -> Thanks! I must admit I was taking that for granted, since I assumed that Covadonga was referring to one of the offices in Spain (especially in universities) for administering EU-funded projects.

agree  Björn Vrooman: It gets really interesting when it's about compounds such as pharmaceutical(s) or chemical(s) industry. Both are in widespread use. A few years ago, I observed a trend toward pluralization; not sure whether that's still valid.
20 hrs
  -> Thanks, Björn :-) I think there may be such a trend. An example I thought of quoting was the European Medicines Agency; "European Medicine Agency" sounds quite wrong to me.

agree  Tirkish Baymuradov
1 day 1 hr
  -> Thanks, Tirkish :-)
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31 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
european project office
European Project Office


Explanation:
I would use the singular.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 36 mins (2018-06-14 15:57:27 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

The European Project Office is based in the UK, and consists of the project management team work from Solihull - Steve Young (MD), Andrew Tongue (Research Director), Carol Clements (Accounts) and Jane Trace (Operations Manager), together with the UK research team (Ben Waller, Gareth Arnould and Peter Bailey).

https://www.icdp.net/who-we-are/contact.aspx


Management/
Administration
European Project Office; North
American Project Office;
Santiago Office; Joint Project
Office

http://jump2.nrao.edu/dbtw-wpd/textbase/Documents/brown-Trip...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 5 hrs (2018-06-14 20:38:57 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I stand corrected on my second example, thanks to Charles. In this instance, they do indeed seem to be referring to a single project.

However, I can provide other examples:

The project office is open to all those involved in IT projects.
Our experts will help you with the rules, methodology and documentation of projects.
The service provides management of IT projects, including projects funded by European funds.

https://www.bluepartners.cz/en/services/project-office/

On Wednesday, a Procurement Arrangement for the pre-compression system for ITER's giant toroidal field coils was signed with Europe, and on Friday, it was time for Ned Sauthoff, Head of the US Project Office, to get his pen out and to sign the Procurement Arrangement for the transmission lines of ITER's electron cyclotron system.

https://www.iter.org/newsline/131/166

Claire N.
Local time: 03:55
Native speaker of: English

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  philgoddard: You can use either in my opinion.
25 mins
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